AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Westminster College baseball team swept Martin Luther College on Saturday, defeating the Knights 9-3 in game one and 14-1 in game two, at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Monday.
Westminster, under the guidance of first-year Head Coach Kelly Swiney, improved to 2-2 overall, while the Knights dropped to 0-6 on the season.
In game one, Titan senior Brandon Rossier (Wexford, PA / North Allegheny) drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring sophomore Vince Guerrieri (Latrobe, PA / Greater Latrobe). Martin Luther answered in the bottom half of the first, tying the game 1-1. In the second, junior Hunter Alexander (Beaver Falls, PA / Blackhawk) singled to right field, driving in two runs and giving Westminster a 3-1 lead. Junior Ernie Burkes (New Castle, PA / Neshannock) scored off a wild pitch in the following inning, and in the same at-bat, senior Michael Douds (Erie, PA / Cathedral Prep) hit a two-run homerun to extend the Titan lead, 6-1. The Knights would close the gap by three runs, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third inning, making the score 6-3. Westminster, however, would score three more unanswered runs and never look back, winning by a score of 9-3. Douds finished the game 2-for-4 with two hits, two runs and three runs batted in. Alexander recorded one hit off of four at-bats and drove in two runs, while sophomore Jaret Johnson (Niles, OH / Niles McKinley) went 2-for-3 with two hits and a walk. Burkes and Rossier each registered a triple in the game. Junior Dante Parente (Beaver Falls, PA / Blackhawk) earned the win, giving up six hits and three runs while striking out eight batters in six innings of work.
In game two, the Titans offense came alive early, as Alexander, Guerrieri, and Burkes each had hits resulting in runners scoring. Alexander hit a two RBI double, while Guerrieri hit a RBI single to give Westminster an early 4-0 cushion. One inning later, Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice, driving in Rossier (5-0). Sophomore Tyler Barnot (Pittsburgh, PA / Bethel Park) doubled to left center, driving in two runs, and Burkes drove in another run with a single, extending the Titan lead, 9-0. Sophomore Nick Tremper (Wellsboro, PA / Wellsboro) would add to the scoring barrage with a single in the bottom of the sixth (12-1), driving in junior Brad Stein (Boynton Beach, FL / Palm Beach Central). The Titans would win, 14-1, in six innings of play. Burkes registered three RBI’s and three hits in five at-bats, while Barnot and Alexander each drove in two runs. Junior Cory Pullen (Wexford, PA / North Allegheny) earned the win, throwing five innings and giving up just one hit and striking out eight batters. Junior Sam Hockenberry (Burgettstown, PA / Burgettstown) pitched two innings of relief, striking out three batters in the process.
Westminster is back in action Wednesday, March 7 against Penn State Brandywine. Start time is set for 3:30 p.m.